On Saturday, hundreds of Essex residents and their four-legged companions took on one of the biggest canine events of the year – Battersea’s Muddy Dog Challenge, supported by LV=.
Local residents have raised over £70,000 for the stray and unwanted animals in need of care at the Home.
Taking place at Stansted Park Estate, over 500 participants were given the opportunity to take on the UK’s first 2.5km and 5km obstacle course. Runners and their furry companions attempted some exhilarating obstacles –including taking on scramble nets, trampolines, balance beams, and the infamous ‘Muddy Mayhem’. The water obstacles proved most popular on the day, with dogs and their owners enjoying a cooling down!
Despite the sun beating down, there was still plenty of mud and participants were running over the finish line completely caked in it. Several shoes were lost in the muddy ditches, and everyone got stuck in to the muddy crawl, crawling on their hands and knees through thick mud.
Among the participants were Amanda Barker from Needham Market, Suffolk, who ran with her Battersea rescue dog Jabba, who she rehomed from Battersea Brands Hatch a year ago. Amanda said: “We signed up for the Muddy Dog Challenge as soon as it opened, I loved it, it’s been amazing. Jabba loved the water obstacles and going through the mud.”
Other participants included 13 Vet Nurses and Administrative staff from Northants Vet Hospital, who raised over £2,500 for the Home. They all ran with their own dogs and said, “When we saw the event advertised on Facebook we jumped at the chance to take part. It’s been awesome and we’ll definitely come back next year.”
Emma Lovesey, Challenge & Public Events Manager at Battersea, said: “Essex residents came out in full muddy-force to raise an impressive amount of money for the dogs and cats at Battersea. We’re so grateful for the contribution they’ve made to the Home and hope they didn’t mind the mud too much! There was a real family atmosphere with participants and their friends and family enjoying picnics in the grass and enjoying the sunshine at the beautiful Stansted Park Estate”.
The event has also taken place at Nottingham (6 May) and Windsor (20 May) and is due to take place at Kent (30 September).
For more information on the Muddy Dog Challenge or to sign up for the Kent challenge, visit www.battersea.org.uk/muddydog.
Human competitors must be aged 18 years or over and dog competitors one year or older. Runners, who can compete with or without a dog, are asked to raise a minimum of £100 in sponsorship. Entry fees apply.